Rotary Log  for Meeting of January 29, 2015 By Richard Greulich
President Trish began the meeting with her usual warm welcoming comments. She noted three birthdays: Dana Levinson, Barry McArdle and Gene Bailey with 17, eight and 32 years in Rotary, respectively.
Francoise Meissner was inducted as a new member. Bill Hurley sponsored her and delivered a brief bio. Francoise was born in Mauritius, an island in the Indian Ocean. She worked in advertising in London for 10 years then at the United Nations for 10 more. She is married, raised two children and lived in Durham for the past 17 years.  She is now a Portsmouth REALTOR. With her international background and husband’s German native tongue, Bill seemed close to calling Francoise a true polyglot. Apparently he thought better of it. He simply ended his intro by pronouncing her “a perfect fit” for Rotary.
With the bar thus raised sufficiently high, Francoise proceeded to vault over it with aplomb. She summed up her take on Rotary as “People Who Like People.” With that, she is happy to cast her lot with those People. She ended by drawing laughs demonstrating her newly found knowledge of the two ways to pronounce “Rotary.” There’s the  British way: “Ro-Ta-Ry. ”  And the American way:  “Rotery.” This written report cannot do her verbal performance justice. We will leave it with “Welcome, Francoise!”
General Announcements.
  1. President Trish emphasized the importance of responding to the Member Satisfaction Survey.  By now each Rotarian should have received it by email. It only takes a few minutes to complete and will be helpful to our incoming President. If you need help in accessing or completing the survey please contact Trish 
  2. Dan Marsten (a newbie this year) described the Portsmouth Interact Club’s efforts to deliver “Crushes” for their Valentine’s Day fundraiser. For $2 a piece, a can of Orange Crush can be sent with a personalized message to one’s Valentine...see Dan or Joanie Dickenson for details. Dan also solicited suggestions for involving the Interact Club with other activities.
  3. Ramona Dow (co-chair of Basic Needs Committee) announced a drive to donate peanut butter. She asked each Rotarian to bring a jar or two to the next two meetings.
Guest Speaker
Leanne Spees introduced Dr. Ross Gittell.  He is well-credentialed (B.A. Univ. of Chicago, M.B.A. UC-Berkeley, Ph.D. Harvard, Econ Professor at UNH for 20 years.)  Dr. Gittell has in the past focused on economic and community development issues in New Hampshire. Now, as Chancellor of the Community College System of N. H., he has a new focus. He spoke about what the System is, its goals and the rationale for those goals. He further explained the steps the System is taking to accomplish them.
The System consists of seven local colleges and three academic centers. It offers academic degrees and certificates. It serves 27,000 students annually, 93% from New Hampshire. Of this group, more than 40% are adults over the age of 24. The System is self-governing and not a state agency. The Governor appoints its BOD.  The schools are accredited and provide quality academics. It’s an education that produces transferable credits (one third of students transfer to a four-year college). A key objective is to provide education that will meet the needs of employers in Granite State communities. Dr. Gittell spends one third of his time meeting with local businesses. From these meetings he develops programs to meet their employee training needs.
The System has several goals. One is to be accessible and affordable. Another is to allow for open access. A High School diploma is all that is required for admission. “Running Start” programs allow students to take courses for college credit in high school. “Dual Enrollment” lets students have access to resources at both the community college and UNH. Tuition (low already at $6,000 per year) has actually been cut this year (unheard of).
There are important reasons to have a strong Community College system. It creates appropriate higher education for New Hampshire residents. Education that results in better economics for Granite Staters. Right now, New Hampshire ranks well in that regard. However, much of that prosperity is due to immigrants from other states. New Hampshire is starting to slip from its lofty rankings. All the more reason for higher education that is relevant to employers and students’ needs alike.
Overall, Dr. Gittell delivered a good description of the Community College System. He gave us  a cogent discussion of how the System  needs to and is fulfilling its service to Granite Staters. Best wishes to his efforts as we will all benefit!
Oh yes, Dr. Gittell pulled out the winning ticket for Ben Wheeler. The rumor that Ben had arranged for a chauffeured limousine to transport Dr. Gittell has not yet been confirmed. Fortunately for next week’s winner, Ben’s luck ran out and the match was unmet.
Respectfully submitted, Richard Greulich